The UK musician spoke on a PAMA panel about “managing the suicide crisis” among artists. “There is this myth that you have to be anxious to be creative, that you have to be depressed to be a genius.” He said, “I can truly say that anxiety has never helped me create. And I’ve watched it destroy my friends’ creative process too.”
Alluding to the recent death of Avicii, Blake said artists have a “responsibility” to talk about mental health and “remove the stigma”: “We are the generation that’s watched several other generations of musicians turn to drugs and turn to excess and coping mechanisms that have destroyed them. And there are so many high-profile people recently who’ve taken their own lives.”
Blake also got personal and shared his own experience dealing with “suicidal thoughts” on the road early in his career. “Your connection to other people becomes surface level”.
“So if you were only in town for one day and someone asked you how you are, you go into the good stuff… which generally doesn’t involve how anxious you feel how depressed you feel.”
He said the unhealthy touring diet and lifestyle magnified his mental-health issues. “I would say that chemical imbalance due to diet and the deterioration of my health was a huge, huge factor in my depression and eventual suicidal thoughts.”
Read his statement below.
Please read. I've wanted to say this for a long time, and now seemed as good a time as any. pic.twitter.com/1fSPt7SJnx
— James Blake (@jamesblake) May 26, 2018